Attacks From a Ropen in New Mexico?

A speculation can fail, under scrutiny, but when human lives are in danger we need action. I’ve recently been reading the nonfiction Missing 411 – Western United States & Canada, by the former lawman David Paulides. On page 200, the author points out that all six of those missing persons listed in New Mexico disappeared in the Santa Fe National Forest. Why did none of them go missing in any other national forest of New Mexico? We have four other national forests in that state, plus three national grasslands (and two other managed  areas, designated wildlife or wilderness).

Some kind of predator was probably involved in at least two of those cases, someone or something dangerous residing in that part of New Mexico. This may get complicated.

Before getting into details in those strange happenings in the southwestern United States we need to consider this: When all the experts’ explanations fail, consider the idea that fits many of the facts but runs contrary to a cultural assumption of those experts. Some of those strange happenings are probably unknown to those who were involved in the search and rescue efforts, namely observations of large long-tailed flying creatures in New Mexico. Now remember Sherlock Holmes: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

I’d be surprised if Mr. Paulides had read my book Live Pterosaurs in America, for it’s not close to a national nonfiction best-seller. Few search and rescue professionals or amateurs, if any, are likely to have known, during their searching, about the investigations my associates and I have conducted over many years. Those trying to make sense of those missing persons in New Mexico could have been completely ignorant of attacks from large flying creatures in Mexico and in British Columbia, Canada. Yet why should Americans be immune to similar attacks in wilderness areas of the United States?

I applaud the work of search and rescue persons and investigators who have done all that could have been expected of them. Sometimes they find somebody or find a satisfactory reason for a disappearance; sometimes not. We now need to apply what we have learned about ropens in North America.

“Dragons” near Magdalena Mountains, New Mexico

The following I included in the third edition of Live Pterosaurs in America:

“Fourteen years ago [1993, in Socorro, New Mexico], me and a close friend, who now has a masters in biology, were hiking during the midday sun at [a] box canyon and something blocked the sun for a moment. We both looked up to see what did that and saw a large flying animal. It had a 20-30 foot wingspan and was about the same length long. It had a long tail with [a] seeming spike at the end. Its head was very pterodactyl shape with a fluted back pointy head. . . . we watched it glide . . . and land somewhere on the southern expanse of Magdalena Mountains.”

The man who told me about his sighting (above) mentioned the word dragon.

Details on those missing

Of the six persons who were missing in one area of New Mexico, three of them were children, in age from three to seven, in June of 1951. Those three kids were lost together and found together, all alive. The other three persons were adults who were never found, and they disappeared in 1982, 1998, and 2009. The following comparisons suggest there is no cause-relationship between the children and the adults:

  • Found alive or never found
  • Mid-20th century or 1982-2009
  • Group or lone individual
  • Children or adults

As I see it, the strange disappearances in one wilderness area of New Mexico resolve into three critical cases, three adults who went missing from 1982 to 2009. Searchers and experts found those three cases baffling. According to Mr. Paulides, “The New Mexico State Police investigator who has the Emma Tresp [who went missing in 1998] case made this statement: ‘It’s like she vanished off the face of the earth.'”

Bigfoot complication, or not

Mr. Paulides mentions the case of the man who went missing in September of 2009; that’s too recent for me to mention the name here. On page 195 of the Missing-411 book it says that the tracking dogs followed the man’s scent for 150 years and then stopped. Some followers of Bigfoot investigations have suggested that dogs might be afraid when they encounter the smell of a Bigfoot, causing them to avoid that kind of trail. That too is speculative. I suggest the dogs that lose the scent suddenly, in some of these missing persons cases in wilderness areas of North America in general, have stopped their tracking where the child or adult was carried into the air.

Carried away by a giant pterodactyl? What could be more unbelievable? Well, what about being carried away by a Bigfoot? The logic of Sherlock Holmes says it was either a Bigfoot or a dragon; take your choice.


apparently desert scene in Chaves County, New Mexico


Eyewitnesses of ropen interviewed

Three men describe the pterodactyl-like creature of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea. They saw the giant ropen (about 1994) flying over Lake Pung.

Glowing Ropen in New Mexico

The moon had already gone behind the trees, by the middle of that night a week ago Monday, so Mr. Slack and his buddy searched the sky for the Andromeda Nebula. This required using a low-magnification eyepiece, fortunately, to locate that galaxy, allowing the amateur astronomer to see the flying creature sweep through the field of view.

Attacks From Pterodactyls?

One of the American ropen-cryptozoologists, Jonathan Whitcomb, has now suggested that some of the strange missing-persons cases from wilderness areas of the United States may be from attacks from a few ropens.

Author Jonathan Whitcomb

[He] has interviewed eyewitnesses since 2004, common people who have seen, worldwide, uncommon flying creatures.


Whitcomb's nonfiction "Searching for Ropens and Finding God" 3rd ed.

Modern-pterosaur book: Searching for Ropens and Finding God, by J. D. Whitcomb

From the back cover of this 360-page paperback:

Settle into a comfortable chair and prepare for what may become the most unsettling scientific discovery since Copernicus and Galileo. This true story takes you into the expeditions that began to prepare the Western world for a discovery not yet recognized by scientists in developed countries.


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